SB800 D700

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by brooke_eaton|1, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. I'm in need of some help. Ive rented a Nikon D700 and a SB 800 flash. I've been outside, in full sun, trying to use the flash as a fill. I have it set on TTL ISO 100. 50mm F 2.8. All of the photos are blown out. How can I fix this?
     
  2. What are the settings? Full sun = ISO 100, f11, 1/250th or equivalent. If you are not at or near those settings, you are just overexposing, period, and the flash has nothing to do with it. If you are at those settings, use your flash compensation control to ramp the flash back.
     
  3. On top of what Nadine's suggested you might also want to switch it from TTL to TTL-BL.
     
  4. if you are in aperture priority, the D700 should also be set to high speed sync, somewhere in the custom settings. If not, you are going to max out at 1/320 or 1/250, causing a lot of overexposure unless you are set at f/11 or smaller.
     
  5. And keep in mind that High Speed Sync cuts your flash power, so outside in bright sun, you will have to stay pretty close to your subjects or the flash will not reach them. Might do well to research bright sun flash fill if you are practicing for an upcoming wedding in bright sun.
     
  6. robert,
    I have noticed that it is maxing out around 1/250. Im shooting in M mode though.
     
  7. I've never used high speed sync before.
     
  8. Brooke,
    For starters, it sounds like you should take a test shot or two and review them on the camera's review screen, check the histogram or (my preference) use the camera's feature that causes blown highlights to blink, so you can see how you're doing. You say "all the photos are blown out," but I think you should be able to prevent that by reviewing a couple. If you take a shot or two and everything's obviously overexposed on the review screen, well, you know you need to do something different.
    I'm pretty sure the problem is simply that you were using f/2.8 - and probably unable to shoot faster than 1/250th sec (which I assume is the sync speed for the D700). As Nadine said, the flash probably had nothing to do with it. Your photos would have been overexposed without the flash.
    Nadine mentions a version of the "sunny sixteen" rule of thumb, which says that, in full sun, you'll get a correct exposure (or something close to correct) if you set the aperture to f/16 and set the shutter speed to the ISO, so for example: f/16 + ISO 100 + 1/100th sec, or f/16 + ISO 250 + 1/250th sec. Nadine's suggested settings - f/11 + ISO 100 + 1/250th sec - are simply a variant of the "sunny sixteen" rule: she's opened the aperture one stop and offset that by (roughly) doubling the shutter speed, while leaving the ISO at 100.
    Give the sunny sixteen rule of thumb, if ISO = 100 and aperture = f/2.8 (five stops wider than f/16), the shutter speed would have to be 1/3200th sec or faster (five stops faster than 1/100th sec). THAT IS WITHOUT FLASH. But you can't shoot faster than 1/250th sec because that's the camera's flash sync speed. So, either you stop the aperture down a LOT - or consider switching to high-speed sync. High-speed sync may help you use a bigger aperture.
    Basic idea for using fill flash in sunlight: start with as correct an exposure as you can get using natural light, with the flash turned off. Then add the flash. Results are often subtle. Full sunlight's hard to compete with.
    Will
     
  9. Brooke, the way you say "I've noticed that it is maxing out around 1/250" indicates that you might want to read a little more about flash basics, so you know what "sync speed" is as a general matter and what the specific sync speed is for the camera you're using, as well as the ways that changing aperture and shutter speed affect exposure when you're using flash.
    I'd suggest skipping high-speed sync for the moment, doing a little reading, and then spend some time testing. Just about the best thing about digital photography is that it costs virtually nothing to practice. And it's fun, too!
    Will
     
  10. robert, I have noticed that it is maxing out around 1/250. Im shooting in M mode though.​
    Yes, that is the max flash sync speed on the D700 (1/320 is a holdever from the F5), unless you enable high speed sync. If you just want to point and shoot, try setting the D700 to P mode and the flash to TTL BL mode. If the flash is set to TTL, it will assume it is the primary light source, so you may have to play around with some negative flash exposure compensation to get a more pleasing look. Good luck and enjoy.
     
  11. You should not be shooting at F 2.8 in full sun... Why would you want to do that? Just wondering... If you are looking for low Depth of Field... you can still get it at 5.6.
     
  12. ""All of the photos are blown out."
    AND
    "Im shooting in M mode though."
    so, guess who is responsible for bad picture ?
     
  13. The native sensitivity of the D700 sensor is ISO 200, not 100. ISO 100 means just that you're shooting at ISO 200 on the hardware but the software then pulls the image by 1 stop, leading to blown out highlights.
     
  14. Thank you for the info. I've never used a professional camera before. I have a canon rebel xti. I wanted to rent this equipment to try it out. So not only am I using more techincally diffcult equipment, but Im also trying to get used to a nikon vs a canon. I'm just trying to make this test run fun but I also want to get some decent photos too. Thanks for the help.
     
  15. Brooke,
    Flash is hard. I like to say that available-light photography is kind of like visual flight rules flying, and flash is kind of light learning to fly with instruments. But of course the analogy is lost on folks who don't know anything about flying. :)
    Anyway, the good news is that the principles of flash photography are largely independent of the make and model of camera that you're using. I'm afraid you would have had the same problems with your XTi that you had on the D700. But the up side is that, once you get the hang of this stuff, your knowledge will transfer from camera to camera.
    There ARE of course a few little details that are different. The Nikon flash's TTL-BL mode is something you don't find on all flash units. And terms and technologies differ a little from maker to maker, too. For example, Nikon i-TTL is pretty similar to Pentax P-TTL but they're not technically identical. But the "sunny sixteen" rule is ancient - goes way back to film photography and still works for digital, no matter what camera you're using.
    So when you return the D700 and the flash, you can continue to practice with your Canon camera - and the basic ideas are all going to be the same. Hang in there and have fun.
    Will
     
  16. Thanks Will. You've been a HUGE help. Im going to read up on the sunny sixteen!
     
  17. Read the following:
    http://www.planetneil.com/tangents/2008/12/13/max-it-out/
    Plus anything else from that set of articles.
    If you need to use the camera on a wedding very soon, you won't have time to fully absorb everything you need to know. In this case, I would recommend you use Program on the camera, and as William suggests, no High Speed Sync yet.
     
  18. And as a rule of thumb, stay within 10 feet of your subjects--8 would be better.
     
  19. Im not shooting a wedding until september. I was just wanting to test out this camera.
     
  20. Second everything above - you're obviously overexposing the shot regardless of flash setting. You'd be better off setting the correct exposure, setting flash on TTL-BL, and shooting, or having the camera take a flash exposure of the subject, reframing, and then shooting. Alternatively, you can stop down 1 stop from ambient exposure and shooting as well, and shooting in TTL, which may work as well. Try it out - in sunny conditions, flashing with a relatively slow flash sync can be hairy.
    Likewise, indoors, you can modulate the shutter speed and ISO in order to control the penetration of ambient light in your shots.
    The other consideration is that if you're not shooting in RAW, you probably should. While you're renting the camera, if you have ACR, you should be able to process the NEF files and give yourself a lot of room to pull the highlights in or shadows up, especially if you're still a little shaky on flash settings.
     
  21. I would agree with the planet-neil comments. He has lots of usesful suggestions.
    I would meter the exposure at my lowest ISO (200) and at /250 second and set the aperature to achieve adequate natural light exposure. Then I will set my SB800 on TTL at 0 to +3, depending on the light exposure. If the aperature gets above 5.6 or so, the strobe will not add much. If ISO 200 or 100 at a shutter speed of 1/250 is not sufficient to obtain a proper exposure, then it may be difficult. You might set the SB to FP settings and move your shutter speed up even higher, but you will be losing some of the SB800 light. At this point, do some test shots to see how good they look. This assumes it is back lit. Another set of concepts apply if it is not back lit. But fundamental concept, in manual mode, set your camera to achieve the best exposure, and then add more or less strobe to fill the situation.
    Good luck.
     
  22. I would agree with the planet-neil comments. He has lots of usesful suggestions.
    I would meter the exposure at my lowest ISO (200) and at /250 second and set the aperature to achieve adequate natural light exposure. Then I will set my SB800 on TTL at 0 to +3, depending on the light exposure. If the aperature gets above 5.6 or so, the strobe will not add much. If ISO 200 or 100 at a shutter speed of 1/250 is not sufficient to obtain a proper exposure, then it may be difficult. You might set the SB to FP settings and move your shutter speed up even higher, but you will be losing some of the SB800 light. At this point, do some test shots to see how good they look. This assumes it is back lit. Another set of concepts apply if it is not back lit. But fundamental concept, in manual mode, set your camera to achieve the best exposure, and then add more or less strobe to fill the situation.
    Good luck.
     
  23. I would set the flash to manual and shoot at 1/64 (plus or minus) for a little fill. Just meter as if you were shooting without flash and add in fill when needed. I usually like shooting in commander mode with the flash unit wireless (in my case, the SB600 but I'm sure the SB800 has this functionality). When using commander mode, you can set a flash group to M and dial down the power.
     
  24. Something, i think, no one has mentioned--make sure you're set to matrix or center-weighted metering. If it's on spot, that'll mess you up too.
     
  25. One more thing. Im having trouble getting the flash on TTL BL. The only option it is giving me is TTL FP. Are these the same?
     
  26. TTL BL is set on the flash, not the camera. FP is a camera setting.
     
  27. No it says FP on the flash
     
  28. when you have high speed sync set, thats FP... BL is another setting... if you hit the mode button it should cycle through to manual, AA, GN, ttl-bl-fp and ttl-fp among others.
     

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